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SWT play areas undergo £100k+ makeover

17 February 2022 : Council news, Community, Sport and leisure

Somerset West and Taunton (SWT) Council has invested close to £112,000 upgrading its play areas across Taunton and Wellington.

Contract work to replace existing play equipment, soft tarmac and grass safety matting which has become outworn or reached its OEM-prescribed end-of-life commenced mid-January, completing this week (commencing 14 February).

Funded by the Council’s Capital budget, the refurbishments were scheduled as part of a rolling replacement programme covering junior play spots in Wellington at Burrough Way and Wellington Park; and in Taunton at Blenheim Road, Farriers Green, Streamside, Vivary Park, Showell Park including the Kindergarten play area, and the Kindergarten area at Lyngford Park.

The new play equipment includes variations of swings, slides, seesaws, roundabouts, bridges, balance walkways and multi-play units.

To accommodate children of varying abilities, accessible roundabouts and/or swing seats have been installed in the play areas at Lyngford, Vivary and Wellington Parks.

Deputy Leader of the Council and Portfolio Holder for Sports, Parks and Leisure, Councillor Derek Perry, said: “We’re committed to supporting active and healthy lifestyles and by investing in these play areas, we hope to encourage the mental wellbeing and social and physical development of children for years to come.”

Although not part of the replacement programme, SWT has spent a further £10,995 on new accessible equipment for Hamilton Park play area in Taunton, including a rocker, roundabout and parent-child inclusive swings.

Similarly, £36,852 worth of safety surfacing and additional equipment including a new slide, roundabout, climbing frame and swings have also recently been installed at Celandine Mead in Taunton, funded by developer contributions in relation to a nearby housing development at Kings College.

Councillor Perry added: “Some of these play areas now cater for wheelchair users, as well as providing inclusive play for parents and children, and we’re confident that the improvements will meet the needs of local residents. Now that the work is complete, it’s lovely to see the children enjoying the new equipment.”

Whilst the condition of more modern SWT-owned play areas outside Taunton and Wellington remains good, in time, these will eventually be replaced as part of the rolling replacement programme.

Users of the Council’s play areas are encouraged to keep them clean and tidy by disposing of their litter using the bins provided, or by taking it home with them if they are full.

Members of the public with concerns about the safe use of play areas or wishing to report a problem, can use the Council’s online reporting form or by telephoning 0300 304 8000.